Saturday, March 9, 2013

Farside Z: Extremely Divergent Reviews - One Simple Truth

The following review of Bend, Not Break was published on Amazon on January 29, 2013:

There is a very logical explanation of the two extremely opposite reviews of this book. It's what your mother tells you - If something looks too good to be true, it ain't. 
Taken at face value, the book is truly inspirational. The author's life experience is a triumph of human spirit in spite of overwhelming odds and adversities against her. It is simply out of this world. 
The sad truth is - it is. The stories are more than perfect because the author is not inconvenienced by fact or historic accuracy. She made up most, if not all, her stories for sensationalism and self-promotion. China was brutally dark and oppressive during the Culture Revolution, but what the author described plainly had no credibility with people who had lived through the period. 
This is why people are speaking out and where the lowest ratings come from. Tragedy and suffering are not pretense for personal gain, especially when they are false. Sympathy and admiration are to be heart-felt, not manipulated. 
Readers might be taken aback by the ferocity of negative comments here at Amazon. It's easy to dismiss the author's inconsistencies as inconsequential to her message. The wave of negative comments surely is living proof of her purported indomitable resilience. Conspiracy theorists are certain all the naysayers are secret Chinese government agents. 
Quite the contrary, there is a very important distinction between questioning the truthfulness of the author and covering up the sins of the Culture Revolution and the Chinese government. Although the author deliberately and disingenuously denies the difference, her critics have universally condemned the Culture Revolution. 
The objection is squarely directed at the author's personal exploitation of the Culture Revolution and manipulation of truth. The details are significant as they place the integrity of the author at stake. Her integrity and credibility are all the more important in the context of her inspiring stories. Without such, her message rings hollow, if not fraudulent; her vested (commercial and personal) interest at risk. That's why whether she was a "Red Guard" is particularly critical (prosecutor vs. prosecuted). That's why her story of "jailed" and "deported" (which she retracted after scrutiny) is so outlandish. 
People are rightfully outraged because the author's insincerity undermines the calamity of the Culture Revolution a generation of Chinese suffered through. She takes advantage of people's trust and makes a mockery of their compassion.

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